Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) individuals in Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka face violence and exclusion in every sphere of their lives. This violence is fueled by laws that criminalize same-sex relations and gender non-conformity and encouraged by governments who tolerate, endorse, or directly sponsor the violent clamp-down on those who do not follow prevailing norms on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
This report reflects the main finding from research coordinated by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and conducted over a two-year period by women’s rights, sexuality rights and gender rights activists based in Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Interviews were conducted in Japanese, English, Malay, Tamil, Urdu, Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano and Sinhala. The researchers uncovered high levels of family violence perpetrated against LBT individuals as well as widespread discrimination in education, health and work sectors.
The five-country study confirmed the existence of complex layers of intersecting discrimination where violence against LBT individuals was not only motivated by rejection of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression but, in many instances, also other identity markers (e.g., race, ethnicity, class, economic status, religion, economic status). In this way, LBT individuals were punished by their families and communities for “betraying” their heritage, religion and culture. Those without financial advantage to “get out of” violent situations or who were targeted for violence because they were poor were even more vulnerable because of increased opportunities for violence.
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